The Chronicles of Narnia ~ Shunyamurti Movie Night Essay
As a very special treat for Christmas 2017, we share with you this magical, seasonal essay.
On Saturday nights, the Sat Yoga Ashram turns into the Sat Yoga Cinémathèque, perhaps the greatest art house cinema this side of Holy Wood. From Tarkovsky to Kubrick, from Bresson to Malick to Jodorowsky, from Hollywood to postmodern classics, the sangha gathers to explore the spiritual journey of ego dissolution and soul liberation through the lens of film. For each film, Shunyamurti offers an exquisite teaching to guide the experience in a way that will provide the deepest and most thoughtful reflections and post-movie discussions. We hope these poetic treasures will inspire you to find the sacred journey and intelligence that is hidden in the films we feature.
All myths are both memories and prophecies. The ancient myths were collective. Modern myths are products of individual imagination. The more ancient the myth, the less distortion there is. The fall through time is a loss of information, disguised as a gain of information. In the ancient world, before materialism took hold, reality was still recognized as dream. Collective amnesia had not yet fully set in. The powers of consciousness had not yet totally atrophied, as they have in accord with the collective anti-myth of materialism. The ravages of this anti-myth are of course included in every authentic myth.
Because of the congruence of all the world’s enduring mythologies, Campbell referred to it all as a single stream of information that he called the mono-myth. Once it has been accurately deciphered, one understands the challenge that life presents.
The myth is always about rites of passage. The passages are from primitive flattened infantile mental states to ever more refined sublime multidimensional states of awareness. The passage requires a death and rebirth. The death is of selfishness, narcissism, suffering—the full catastrophe produced by the egocentric frame of reference; followed by rebirth into wholeness, care, benevolence, joy, grace—the full blessing of union with the Absolute Real.
There is a timeless metaphysical dimension to this that makes it perennially relevant to every manifestation of the human level of consciousness, or its equivalent. But there is also a historical dimension that refers to a specific moment in chronological time when the Aeon enters via the Kairos portal into the satori of true wisdom and understanding: the moment of the full initial recognition by the ineffable Dreamer of the arrival of the sacred passage through planetary death and rebirth. The mobilization of all the world’s most titanic forces—ranging from the unleashing of the puny military, thermonuclear explosive destructive power to the far greater geophysical forces activating supervolcanoes and earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, and wildfires—awakens the ultimate superforce that disguises itself as weakness and ignorance or remains utterly invisible and non-perceivable to those who are not attuned to a high enough vibrational frequency.
The awakening brings a rapid increase in intelligence and power. The more of the lower force that is surrendered, the more higher power is attained and harnessed, channeled into the world to multiply itself, to strengthen its self-emanating field of morphic resonance, and to transform the chaos of phenomenal flux that is breaking apart and disintegrating, into a fluidly self-reorganizing massive conscious singularity, a transcendental object in the Mind of God.
Despite the distortions and dumbed-down presentation, despite the grating dialogue and acting and casting necessitated by the marketing of the myth to immature minds as this version of The Chronicles of Narnia must be to appear at the end of kali yuga, nonetheless the information is still there, if one knows how to apply it to one’s imperiential existence and recognize the true nature of the battle that must be won. If we are too pseudo-sophisticated to have time for fairy tales, we may miss the thread that leads to liberation.
This personal mythology of C.S. Lewis lies between the more simplistic Wizard of Oz approach and the far more elaborate and otherworldly Tolkien tales. It is a close cousin to Alice in Wonderland. Its distinction is the more clear and open expression of the Christ archetype versus the shamanic metaphor that yields more information regarding siddhi acquisition. But a version could easily be imagined in which the Lion King Aslan is more like a Buddha, or a Krishna, or Moses. The Real Being can be described according any of the Crazy Diamond’s infinite facets.
The failing of this version, which it shares with nearly all corrupted mythology, but which makes it the more cinematic, is the translation of transformation into war. This is the main cause of the appearance of war in the world, justified by the Mahabharata, the Ramayana, the Torah, the Koran, and all the other versions. Only Buddhism managed to portray an entirely internal jihad against the cause of suffering, named therein as craving. And outer war does in fact become a necessary force to awaken the powers that alone can win the inner war that reunites inner and outer under the sovereignty of the Supreme Power that rules on Earth as It does in Heaven.
Make note of all the symbols in this film: they are also archetypes that we must earn, receive, and learn to use. The sword, the horn, the healing tincture, the bow and arrow, the various powers, processes, and persecutions implicit in the unfoldment of the eternal Great Event that now has become our highest priority to prepare for—and perhaps most of all the lesson of how to deal with betrayal—make the film a worthy study text for avataric heroes in the making. Notice too the little nuances like the crowns, two of gold for the elder brother and sister, two of silver for the younger duo, representing two dynasties, the sat yuga and the treta yuga lineages. They are brother-sister rulers, or in other words, Brahmacharis.
And of course the metaphor of the wardrobe as the portal: behind all the clothes, the personae and their sub-personalities, the dissociated fragments of superficial consciousness, lies another world within, deeper than thought, language or context. But beware of backing into the bardo and running into the wrong kind of witch, one who runs with the wolves of the death drive.
In the end it is just another map of the territory known as You or I.